OUT OF CHARACTER INFORMATION
- Intent: I suppose you could call it a biological siege engine.
- Image Credit: "Kaiju Bear" by Daniel Brossart, found at https://www.artstation.com/artwork/22ABe
- Canon: N/A
- Links: N/A
- Name: Rancodin
- Designation: Non-sentient
- Homeworld: Created on Svolten, outside Nighthunter Port
- Language: None
- Average Lifespan: 50 standard years, estimated
- Estimated Population: Semi-Unique (an extremely small number, first or last of their kind)
- Description: The rancodin is a ten-thousand-kilogram alchemical chimera combining a gigantic crocodilian and a rancor. It can wrestle tanks and take down walkers, and it really likes water. That's basically all there is to it.
- Breathes: Type I-II, water
- Average height of adults: 8 metres
- Average length of adults: 16 metres
- Skin color: Dun or blue-gray
- Hair color: N/A
Heavy, overlapped plating around major joints, spine, and tail will begin to crack and crumble in an aged specimen.
- No sexual dimorphism (extremely close inspection necessary to differentiate male and female).
- No regional groups or subspecies.
[*]Strengths: [ 2 minimum ]
- Extreme strength, comparable to a chrysalide rancor.
- Extremely durable plating around joints, spine, skull, and tail. (Plating has about as much lightsaber resistance as your average blast door, which isn't saying a lot.)
- Eight eyes, allowing a degree of sight while partially blinded.
- Capable of extended high-maneuverability combat while submerged.
[*]Weaknesses: [ 2 minimum ]
- Lacks defensive plating on chest, belly, throat, and inner arms. Though its hide is tough, these areas would be good targets for heavy weapons. The rancodin is designed to fight armored vehicles and hordes, not individual, high-mobility, high-damage little'uns (e.g. Jedi Knights).
- Eight eyes, meaning plenty of good (if small) targets in the skull region. The skull is less thick behind the eyes, so a narrow, highly penetrative weapon (e.g. a high-velocity spear, a disruptor blast, or a deep lightsaber stab) can punch through the eye socket and into the brain, causing instant death.
- Vulnerable to crippling or lethal anaphylaxis from various kinds of stinging insect swarms.
- Dumber than dirt. Think really singlemindedly angry guard dog.
- Diet: Meat and plenty of it. Known to suck in and mulch entire schools of fish.
- Communication: Grunts.
- Technology level: N/A
- Religion/Beliefs: N/A
- General behavior: Rancodins are not friendly. With anyone. Frankly, the long-term survival of the species is in question, because they don't even like each other well enough to mate. A very firm hand will render them controllable by a specific individual (spoiler: it's Velok, or some plucky predestined Padawan with a good heart and a talent for animal empathy). In the battle of nature versus nurture, for these fellows it's nature all the way. They are bone-deep mean. It's a good thing they're dumb.
Velok the Younger engineered these gentlemen as a thought experiment, and because offworlders kept bringing large machines to his homeworld of Toola. He'd read ancient accounts of chrysalide rancors shredding the absolute apex of Imperial military technology, the legendary X-1 Viper. Chrysalide alchemy, which uses a literal chrysalis to modify an existing creature in potentially heritable ways, is almost completely unknown in the modern era. Fortunately, Velok had spent some time picking through the alchemist Warren Valik's lab, where he encountered chrysalide research. Once he took on the mantle of Sith Lord, Velok recreated the ancient chrysalis process and applied it here.
Drawing from previous reptilian projects (e.g. the tyuksleen), and from sithspawn samples taken at the Battle of Chandrila during the Galactic Alliance's fall, he put a rancor and a crocodile in a blender. The tricky part here was combining a pure reptile (a massive crocodilian subspecies) with a reptomammal (the rancor). He succeeded, but at the cost of the rancor's intelligence, which has been described alternately as semi-sentient and as capable of literacy.
The end result does some things he expected (rip walkers limb from limb; be stupid) and some he didn't (manifest far more comfort with submerged combat than on land). The latter proved a little irritating, as Toola is extremely low on liquid water and Svolten is unusually dusty. But Velok embraced the principle of 'it's not a bug, it's a feature' and began preparing the rancodins for deployment on soggier worlds. The rancodin is a decent war beast in most circumstances. In marshes and oceans, it's beyond lethal. Now Velok just has to figure out what could possibly be interesting about marshes and waterworlds.
Also, he gave one to [member="Darth Carnifex"] on general principle. Always good to let the Sith Emperor know that you can alchemize the crap out of things.